Tahlequah Daily Press

Get the scoop!

November 29, 2012

Loving a child on the fringe

(Continued)

PARIS —

There are reasons to think the future could be harder — not easier — than the present. But while certain experts (repeatedly quoted by Solomon) have suggested that this leads to "chronic sadness" in parents of children with Down syndrome, I find it leads to "chronic carpe diem" — a chronic desire to seize the day and wring the best possible from every moment — and from myself.

(Optional add end)

I know I will not be able to "pass a baton" to Eurydice the way parents sometimes hope to do with their kids. She is not going to take over my "business" or answer my calling: If I want to sweeten the world a bit through writing, I'd better the hell get down to it myself — the constraints be damned. My child is no baton-bearer; she has her own scepter.

I also know she's unlikely to grow up entirely: She's unlikely to move out at 18 and leave me to my own adventures, so I try to embark on those adventures right now. Toddler in tow, I take every travel assignment I can get from an editor, board every train, scale every limestone fence, and dip my nose longingly into every long-stemmed tulip. It's probably a good modus operandi for all of us.

The joy Eurydice takes in each detail of life is the most infectious quality I've ever known. When she flings her arms around my neck as she does every day, every night, my most recurrent fear is no longer relapsing cancer, no longer early dementia or heart disease or hearing loss — or even the fact that Eurydice is growing up too slowly. It is a testament to how radically this child has transformed me that my most recurrent fear may be that she's growing up too fast — that one day she could be too mature to give me those massive, resplendent, full-body hugs.

If the two of us can avert that catastrophe, I tend to think we can avert them all.

Cristina Nehring is the author of "A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the 21st Century" and "Journey to the Edge of the Light: A Tale of Love, Leukemia and Transformation." She is at work on a book of life wisdom gleaned from her daughter.

1 2 3 4 5 6
7
Text Only
Get the scoop!
Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Stocks